Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Sept 30, 2011 18:04:50 GMT -8
Just thought I would share.
With the exception of the top ?tiger? swallowtail, all of these were collected in my back yard this September. Many of them are heavily damaged, either from my amateur spreading or just collected that way. As my collection and spreading skills grow, they will be replaced.
btw, sorry for the glare. I was too lazy to set up a shot without the flash.
Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Sept 30, 2011 19:01:43 GMT -8
That is the underside of the Agraulis vanillae - Gulf Fritillary. The orange one to the left is the top view of the same thing.
I don't know much about butterflies myself. From what I can tell most if not all of these are rather common. I am just starting out and have more interest in beetles than butterflies. I am also more interested in local specimens rather than exotic ones so I highly doubt that I will find anything that is highly valuable.
value is all relative, and just because you found these in your yard doesn't detract at all from the possibilities. I have a friend in Georgia who "discovered" a previously undescribed moth species right there. Not one of the billion or so tiny micros either. He just kept his eyes open and knew he found a population of something "new". He was able to do a formal description, assign it a name, all that.
I found a breeding population of a certain Arctiid tiger moth pretty much in my yard in Alaska a few years back. After it had been positively identified by some pretty smart folks, it turned out to have never been recorded from that state before.
Keep your eyes open in your own yard, you never know what you might find.
I agree wholeheartedly with pennswoods. It may be of great benefit to you and the scientific community, as well, to collect in a small geographic area over a period of years. Just be sure to add collection data to your specimens. I have been collecting primarily in one county here in Texas, just 40-50 miles to the SW of where I live over the past two years and have discovered some very interesting species. Many are undocumented, as no one has collected there before, even though there is some great habitat. I know next season, I will be trying more bait traps, including the area around my neighborhood, even though suburbia is overtaking the native habitat.
Sometimes I wonder if the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it. - - Mark Twain
Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Oct 1, 2011 10:39:26 GMT -8
Thank you for your kind words. After I had been collecting for a couple of weeks, I decided on the goal of getting records started for my county that seems to have no records as of yet. It has paid off with one interesting discovery so far. I found a hopper called Poblicia texana that belongs in Arizona and Texas. It had never been documented this far east before. Almost made me feel special. As for documentation, I am still a bit disorganized with it, though I am getting better. At present, too many of my specimens are dated 09/??/2011. A few of my beetles cannot even be narrowed down that much. But, as I said, I am now buckling down and getting most of my new specimens properly documented though full id's are few and far between as of yet. I only have five of the specimens above identified with any confidence, the buckeyes, gulf fritillaries, and the long-tailed skipper. I am still a beginner at this so it is expected that I still need a lot of improvement and I seem to be making progress. (if only I could get the hang of spreading without damaging the specimen)
it is valuable to collect in one small area over a number of years because the chances are nobody else is doing it, they just bang the conservation drum, you will be suprised what "discoverys" can be unearthed by consistant collecting and record keeping over a period of time in one area, after all that is what our entomological forefathers did or we would know nothing about them.
Post by starlightcriminal on Oct 3, 2011 6:17:14 GMT -8
It's like looking out into my yard, these are lovely staples from our area of the country. A. vanillae is pesty almost, if you like your Passiflora specimens much.
I also collect extensively in my local area, year after year, and have found state records myself (more than just insects too). It's definitely worth it, especially if you are a less studied area. My area is fairly well picked over as we have a lot of biological science folks around, and even here I can find records.
Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Oct 5, 2011 23:21:56 GMT -8
I had the mount open tonight to replace a damaged specimen and place another tiny butterfly that I caught into it and I decided to take a proper photo of the Urbanus proteus while I had it out from under the glass. I was quite pleased with the resulting image. Photographing it behind the glass really subdued the iridescence.
Post by Rev. Redmond Farrier on Oct 5, 2011 23:26:28 GMT -8
Oh, and this is the tiny butterfly that I was placing in there in case anyone can help me id it
I only have the underside displayed since the top is quite plain. Since it was already placed when I photoed it, I didn't want to risk damage by flipping it over again to photo the top. This little guy only has a 20mm wingspan